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Starting a tomatoes farm in Nigeria is very profitable. According to history tomatoes species came from Central and South America. Tomatoes were actually used as food originated in Mexico, and it later spread throughout the continent following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. 

History also told us that the Spanish explorers brought in tomato into Spain and it was later taken to countries like Turkey, Morocco and Italy. In countries like France and Italy tomato was termed “love apple”.  From all these you will now find out that tomato is not only consumed in Nigeria but the whole world. On this article we are going to look at the step by step on how to grow tomatoes from seed to harvest.

Tomatoes are like any other fruits which are very simple to plant. The fact is that planting tomatoes or setting up a tomatoes farm here in Nigeria is very simple as putting a seed in the ground and covering it up with sands. The following are the steps on how to start a tomato farm here in Nigeria;

        1. Site selection: If you want to start a tomatoes farm here in Nigeria, one of the first steps you need to take is to find a perfect site for your tomatoes farm. Make sure you choose a site that is not too far from the market. Also make sure the site has access to easy transportation, so that it will be very easy to transport the tomatoes after harvest.

       2. Soil preparation: To start tomatoes farming it is important to carefully choose or select a good and proper soil for planting the tomatoes because a good and healthy soil will really determine the type of tomatoes that will be produced and also it will determine the overall productivity of your tomato farming business.  Actually one of the best soils for tomato farming is well-drained loamy soil. Try as much as possible to make sure the soil is rich in organic matter and also it should be endowed with plant nutrients, and also with a pH value of 6 to 7.  In preparing the land for planting the tomatoes, the soil needs to be well-prepared, loose and in good tilth. Make sure the soil is cleared of all weeds and might be ploughed for about one to three times to make it light weights. If the soil is acidic you can then reduce it or level it by applying lime in an appropriate quality.

      3. Try and choose the right tomato varieties: One the ways to get the best from your tomatoes farm is by planting the right tomato varieties. There are a lot of tomatoes varieties. The following are the different varieties of tomatoes grown in the world; Pear tomatoes, Campari tomatoes, Cherry tomatoes, Oxheart tomatoes, Plum tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, Grapes Tomatoes, Tom berries Tomatoes, Slicing or Globe tomatoes, etc.

      4. How to plant tomatoes: One of the best ways you can plant your tomatoes is by first planting it in the nursery before transplanting it to the field. You can actually prepare the nursery bed for a period of about five weeks. You can start by covering them with a polyethylene sheet to prevent weed growth, nematodes, pests, fungus, and bacteria. You can apply organic manure and fertilizer before planting. And also make sure the seedbed is 55-65cm wide, and also 5-6cm long and 20-25cm high.

Furthermore, the planting of the tomatoes can be done around March/April which is during the beginning of raining season. To plant the tomatoes you need to place the tomatoes seeds on the soil and then cover it with a quarter inch layer of soil and press it with your hand or handle. The tomatoes will start growing in the next five to seven days after planting. Just make sure you remove the dry grasses in other to allow proper growth.

      5. The transplanting of the tomatoes: After like 1 month or 5 weeks of planting the tomato in the nursery, it is time for you to freely plant them in the field. Don’t forget that tomatoes are very tender and fragile, try and transplant the tomatoes the same day you uprooted it from the nursery in other to avoid dehydration and fatigue. Also make sure you transplant it with hand to prevent damages.

      6. Irrigation: Actually if you want to get the best from your tomatoes then you need to supply your tomatoes plant with enough water. Make sure you water the tomatoes plant every 3-7 day’s interval during dry season most especially in the month of October and February.

      7. Pest and disease control in Tomatoes: Tomatoes plants are like any other plant that also faces some pest and disease challenges. The following are the pest and disease that attack tomatoes; Thrips, Cutworm, Fusarium wilt, Red spider mite, Nematodes, Late blight, Erinose mite, Rust mite, Bacterial canker, Aphids, Plusia looper, etc.
The following are the methods on how to control pest and disease in tomatoes; By practicing crop rotation, by also practicing proper sanitation, the use of registered chemicals, Make sure you always destroy infected plants and throw them away from the field.

      8. How to harvest the tomatoes: The tomatoes will actually mature after three month that is about eight to twelve weeks, at this time you can start picking them. Also the color of the tomatoes will also tell you that it is ripe. The ripe tomatoes can be pick according to the size, the color, and the quality.

Furthermore, in Nigeria there are states which are really well known for growing tomatoes, the states are; Jigawa State, Bauchi State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Kano State, Gombe State, Kaduna State, Zamfara State and Katsina State.

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